Bujumbura, Burundi/Bangkok, Thailand, 4 September 2018
Members of the public in Burundi will be able to anonymously report any suspicious child sexual abuse material they encounter online – as a new service designed to protect children starts operating today.
By going to this website, Burundian Internet users who come across what they believe to be the online sexual exploitation of children can file a report about what they have seen. This will be shared with trained experts working for ECPAT partner organization the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a UK based NGO that advocates for online safety, who can then flag the content and have anything illegal removed. Jenny Thornton, International Development Manager at IWF, says:
“We are pleased to see that Burundi has taken the huge step of becoming the latest country to launch a new system for reporting child sexual abuse imagery.
By Burundi equipping its citizens with a mechanism to report suspected child sexual abuse imagery online, the country is doing the right thing and making the internet a safer place for all citizens.”
The IWF reporting websites, are web-based forms where Internet users can describe and alert authorities to child sexual abuse imagery they may have stumbled across online. The portals offer priority countries a place to report safely and anonymously, so the material may be subject to expert analysis. As the front page of the new reporting site says:
“We know that seeing images and videos of child sexual abuse can be upsetting. We want you to know that by reporting to us you are doing the right thing. Your report could lead to the rescue of a young victim from further abuse.”
IWF says that reporting on the Burundi site, which was also established with help from local NGO Fédération Nationale des Associations Engagées dans le domaine de l’Enfance au Burundi, is “quick and easy,” and that visitors who have seen sexual abuse images “can report completely anonymously.” However, it notes that anyone who would like to find out what happened to their report at a later date will need to provide an email address.